Information event to discuss Bescot sleeper facility proposal.(Network Rail)

Information event to discuss Bescot sleeper facility proposal

Aerial view of proposed Bescot sleeper facility.(Network Rail Image)

Bescot residents are being invited to attend an information event to find out more about Network Rail’s proposals for a new railway sleeper facility.

Situated on the Bescot sidings, next to the M6 motorway, the proposed facility will be a vital part of maintaining and upgrading the rail network.

If approved, it will secure up to 100 jobs in the West Midlands and ensure Bescot remains a key location on the national railway map.

The site has been identified as it will allow the sleepers to be distributed directly by rail around Britain.

The information event will take place at: Walsall Football Club, Bescot Crescent, WS1 4SA, between 2pm and 8pm, on Thursday 22 March.

Two presentations on the proposal will take place at 4pm and 6pm, followed by Q&A sessions with Network Rail and its partners.

Network Rail, its contractor RAIL.ONE which will produce the sleepers, and the construction company which will build the facility, will be present throughout the event.

Mike Black, supply chain services director for Network Rail, said:

 “We want everyone to know the facts so when we submit our planning application, they are able to comment to the local authority should they wish to.

“The facility will be state-of-the-art, meeting all modern safety standards. It will rejuvenate the rail yard at Bescot and secure jobs in the West Midlands.

“This is an opportunity to find out precisely what our plans are for Bescot and I urge anyone with an interest to come along and find out more.”

A total of 1,000 properties adjacent to the Bescot site have been written to make local people aware of the drop in session and to provide a factual overview of the proposal.

A planning application is due to be submitted to Sandwell council later this year. It will include a full Environmental Impact Assessment which will highlight any potential environmental impacts and what mitigation measures will be put in place.

To minimise the impact of the facility, which will produce the sleepers internally in a dust-free, sealed environment, the area between the sidings and nearby properties will be planted with vegetation and a noise barrier will be installed. This will create a greener local environment and a new habitat for wildlife and reduce any noise implications.

The site’s current main access point, via Westmore Way, will be permanently closed (except for emergencies), and a new 1km access road will be built off of Sandy lane, providing direct access to the M6 via local A-roads.

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